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Agile workers & workspaces - a new way of working..

Being an agile worker is still a work in progress…
Is flexibility now a reality in the workplace?And is it really working? We keep renaming it – remote, activity based and agile work being some of the current terms. The assumption of control over one’s own time and deliverables does look like a great way to work and live, and it seems to be is a high priority for those entering the business world. There is also the development of the agile work space, where people come to the office each day, but don’t have a fixed work area.We used to call it hot desking back in the day and it met with mixed success.Today, office designers have started to create work spaces which are intended to encourage innovative thought, cross departmental collaboration and improved productivity. My research indicates that the mix of engaged and disengaged employees in an open plan workspace does not always have the desired effect of the positive workers influencing the culture.In fact, a case study of a senior execut…
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Job Hunting - who holds the power?

Job Hunting – Are you the buyer or the seller?
It’s important to know.   And it does change.  While certain roles always seem to be in high demand, our rapidly evolving world is continually redefining key skills. As a job seeker, you might feel that you are the buyer, and it may be that you are one of the fortunate people whose unique attributes give them superior negotiating power.  Most of us, though, have to sell ourselves to the employer.   Experience plus formal qualifications definitely give an employee the edge and can change the buyer/seller dynamic. Why is this even a discussion? For a number of reasons: ·Complimented if approached, some people accept the new job because it sounds like a good idea  or use the offer as a negotiation tactic with the current  employer, never really intending to resign. ·Others accept a position, but would really prefer an alternative role and if that one comes up, gazump the first offer ·Life happens, circumstances change and it isn’t feasible to start…

It's all about the service... Gaining & Retaining Clients

Retaining and gaining customers has become increasingly challenging.  As customers we have abundant choice and it is so easy to comparative shop.
We talk about great serviceWe talk about the extra mileWe talk about the attitudeWe talk about customer perceptionWe talk about customer expectationWe talk about meeting customer needsWe talk about the tangible vs intangibleWe talk about the client experience
So what makes a customer feel that they have received outstanding service?   What makes it a soft skill, rather than a science, is that we are all so different and people in services and sales need to read each situation and act accordingly. In a restaurant, if my chair is constantly bumped by the waitrons going past, no matter how great the food, my perception is negative.  My family don’t even notice the bumps.. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to visit Greece and Turkey. In Istanbul, we were wandering around one of the many fantastic street markets, and I saw a display of the most lusci…

The Gig Economy - HR and other issues

The Gig Economy has emerged as a topic of discussion and I understand that Intuit has posited that 40% of US workers will be independent contractors by 2020.  That is 3 years away! What is a gig employee?  Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb all utilize gig employees as the delivery mechanism for their apps.   While they are all clear that they are just an App and don’t employ the gig employees, governments and employer bodies are analyzing the risks and reports are indicating that they are significant. As a contract worker, which is how Uber defines their drivers, there is not an employer/employee contract in place.    While Uber, and other similar companies, create the mechanism for people to deliver a service, they consider themselves brokers, for want of a better word, and not employers. The UK is looking into the situation and considering legal structures .  The concerns are particularly when people have a single source of income, although they are not formally employed.  This leaves them in a …
We really could write a book! Believe it or not, this article is about subsistence allowances.

And yes, we were once sent a business claim for an out of town visit which included toothpaste, cotton wool and dental floss… All bought in South Africa before the trip…..

Hence our response, “You were going to brush your teeth, anyway”.

He was quite taken aback.

We assumed he thought incidental meant something to do with teeth....

Discussing this with some business associates, they trumped this story with the guy whose dog became extremely stressed when his master travelled and the company was asked to pay for dog psychology treatments.

Over the years we have looked at how other companies manage out of country/out of town expenses.

Some give a baseline - you can’t spend more than x and you need to validate all your expenses.

Others give a value, often in line with revenue service guidelines, and no slips are necessary.

The question is whether travelling should be income producing for the travelle…

It's Not Your Fault, But..

It’s Not Your Fault, But…
Its’s not mine, either. When something goes wrong, whether at work or home, most people immediately start casting around for somebody to blame. Over the weekend, I was reading and drinking a cup of coffee which was perched on the arm of the couch.  I do this daily, and have never spilled it.   My daughter came into the room, I put my reader down next to me and we started chatting.  A little later, I picked the reader up, turned to my coffee, and knocked it over.  Something in my expression caused her to ask whether it was her fault.  Of course, it wasn’t, but a mean, small part of me was thinking, well, no, but if you hadn’t come in the room…  And she was kind enough to help me clear it up!
If that lamp post wasn’t there If that faster person wasn’t in the race If the traffic light hadn’t turned red at just that moment If we hadn’t hired Joe, I would have got the promotion If, if, if….. We are very quick to accept the “if” when it is about us, and much slower to do so…

Why Employees Stay

Are your employees staying because of their managers? Popular thought indicates that people leave because of their managers, so is the opposite also true?
Added to that is the view that it is always the good people who leave.
Fortunately, that is not a view, not a fact!
Great people stay. The challenge is to understand both why people stay and why they leave.
As in sales, management ask sales people to find out why they lost a deal. It is even more important to find out why a deal was won.
At Accsys, we realised years ago that we were finding out what individual’s issues were after they had resigned and moved on mentally. We designed a system that allows us to understand our employees’ expectations on a regular basis, not just at increase time, as well as share our expectations with them.
Nothing works all the time, but it has given us much more insight and created a positive manager/employee relationship model.
So why do people stay? Today, many of us have good social media presences and…